Sheffield showcases innovative solutions to revitalise the city

21 October 2016

Pioneering solutions developed by urban entrepreneurs to re-energise Sheffield and to help its residents live independently have been unveiled at an event on Thursday 29 September.

The ’Demo Day’, which took place at Sheffield Hallam University, was open to people interested in innovation, local businesses and entrepreneurs, and will showcase innovative ideas that have been developed in the city over the past year as part of the Sheffield Smart Lab programme.

As well as finding out about Sheffield’s latest innovations, attendees can hear from an expert in the field about how innovation and technology can transform cities. Professor Steve Haake, a professor in sports and engineering who has made past appearances on Channel 4, will speak about innovation, change and improvement, in particular linked to Team GB and the Olympics.

The nine solutions, which are set to change the way in which Sheffield tackles some of its everyday challenges by energising the city centre and by supporting people to live independently, range from a solution with sensors that enable housebound people to alert their carers quickly and discreetly when they need them, to tools that collect and analyse movement data to help the city plan cycle routes.

The Sheffield Smart Lab initiative – a partnership between Sheffield City Council, Amey and the Ferrovial Services Centre of Excellence for Cities – invited entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to submit innovative ideas that would help to address the two different challenges.

The Programme received over 50 pioneering ideas from entrepreneurs and start-up businesses around the world and narrowed it down to just nine winning solutions, who were awarded with an incubation and acceleration programme, sponsored by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, and the opportunity to develop their solutions in the city.

The winners  showcased their developed solutions at the Demo Day event, showing how they can contribute to fostering applied innovation in Sheffield and how the city’s residents and visitors will benefit.  

Cllr Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Business, said: “As a council, it is important to us that we drive innovation in Sheffield. There’s an energy and appetite for it in the city and we recognise that in order to do this we need to partner with start-ups and innovators. That’s what Sheffield Smart Lab is all about and by supporting entrepreneurs and helping them to build on their ideas and making them a reality; we have benefited both them and the city.

The challenges that the solutions solve are hugely important to Sheffield and this has given us a great opportunity to offer a better quality of life for the people of Sheffield and attract visitors to the city centre.”

Iñigo Jodra, Ferrovial’s Director for Centre of Excellence for Cities, added: “This will be an exciting day where people can learn about innovative solutions that could be transformative for Sheffield. Over the past few months, the entrepreneurs have been sharing ideas, while discussing with the council and others how their projects can be best realised.  All the solutions, from different perspectives, aim to enhance Sheffield and the lives of its citizens and visitors.”


If you wish to attend the event, please contact . The event is free but places are limited.